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public holidays in china

► PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN CHINA

China has many different public holidays but the two that most people booking a tour to China should try to avoid are the "Golden Week" of the National Day Holiday and The Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year holiday.

Let's start with the "Golden Week". All Chinese have a week's holiday that starts on October 1st and runs to October 7th every year. This holiday is to celebrate the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Most Chinese will use this holiday as a chance for some domestic tourism. Now when you couple this with a population of 1.3 billion, you start to realize why this may not be the best week to choose to visit China on holiday.

The Forbidden City becomes the businest museum in the world during the October Holiday

To give you some idea of numbers, the Forbidden City had some 182,000 visitors on a single day on October 2nd 2012, not only a record for the imperial palace but supposedly for any museum in the world. To build the picture further that means being caught in a virtual wave of people, not being able to get in to certain areas because you'd have to fight your way through a solid wall of people!

This doesn't just go for the Forbidden City, sights such as the Terra-Cotta Warriors were receiving similar amounts of visitors as well as the Great Wall looking pretty solidly blocked. Most China tours would be ruined by these kind of numbers.

The second time of year to miss would be the Spring Festival, better known in the West as Chinese New Year. Most people might think of this as a time they'd like to experience in China but there are good reasons not to choose this time for your China holiday. Firstly, it is impossible to get travel tickets both before and at the end of the festival. This is a time when people from the big cities that aren't locals will return to their hometowns and is known to be the largest migration of people in the world.

The first days of the festival are not actually so bad as everyone has returned home by then and they tend to stay in with their families but the times they are getting to their homes and back to the big city are not the time you want to be getting a ticket on the China train system! Beware when booking your China tour with
The China Travel Company as the dates for this festival move each year as they are based on the Lunar calendar.

Article posted by Phil Stanley: 3rd June 2013

 
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